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Politics

RICH FAT GUYS TELL US TO TIGHTEN OUR BELTS

So now we’re hearing that the party is over for America, our life style has to take a beating to get through the lean times visited upon us by our wanton spending and greed, sort of like the party that was the Roaring Twenties ending abruptly in The Great Depression. Really? The Party? What party would that be? Two wars, a drowned major city still sitting largely in ruins, our jobs disappearing, an elite ruling class appropriating over 90% of the nation’s wealth and then blowing it on cocaine, hookers and super-high stakes gambling, the nation divided into rival political camps, corporations and municipalities begging Uncle Sam to bail them out, hunger creeping back into most bountiful nation on earth? That party?

Those that are telling average Americans to tighten their belts are invariably wealthy, people who by definition can cut back a whole lot without the slightest dip in their comfort level. They tell us that the society we built with our sweat and our smarts (and in the process made them incredibly rich, by the way) is going to have to change for the worse, and the modest material wealth we have attained for ourselves and our families is going to go away. In a nation founded to defend property rights and promote individual initiative, average Americans have gone with the program, working hard, buying homes and keeping up with the explosion of technology that defines modern society. 

We drive almost everywhere we go because in most places mass transit is a joke or non-existent. So we own a lot of cars. That’s the society in which we live, the way America is built and the way it was planned by wealthy developers and industrialists. We are not being greedy when we drive around in our cars and just don’t see the falling price of gasoline as anything but a good thing, not the national calamity the wealthy hand wringers claim it to be. Easy for them to say. A hundred dollar tank of gas can break a working family while it is chump change to the $2,000 suit crowd. 

And if we own a couple of computers per household, that’s pretty much because not owing them would be ridiculous in today’s world. Cellular telephones are also an intrinsic part of modern life, no longer a luxury but a vital communication tool used by everybody. Paying big money to get our children a college education is also a necessity if they are to compete in today’s economy. But there is that nasty habit we all have, one we indulge in 3 times a day, whether we can afford it or not!. That would be eating. Are we to eat cake, then?

So where do Americans cut their budgets? Today on the Letterman show mega-bilionaire Ted Turner suggested that Americans would be happier if they lived more like we did in the 1950’s. Sure, Teddy boy.You first! Sit back with your tiny black and white TV (and not on your reclining chair  either, that was the 1960’s) and your lumpy bakelite and porcelain-coated iron appliances that don’t do anything but keep food cold, toast bread or wash (but not dry) your clothes. Put out your garbage in greasy paper bags. Listen to one of 7 or 8 AM-only radio channels and turn the news off when the terrifying latest developments in the Cold War give you the creeps. Travel by propellor plane for eight hours to get to California, a very loud and bone jarring experience . Place a long distance call on your six-pound dial phone with the assistance of a telephone operator for about ten times the price of a local call and wait at least seven or eight minutes for the call to go through and hope the connection is halfway decent. Or if you need to send a fast business message, send a telegram that only takes several hours to deliver.

Those things are not options today, nor is rolling back our lifestyles to that of Cuba. Not a horrible existence, but a level of achievement our society has long surpassed through our collective hard work and dedication to building better lives for ourselves. Now, because a relatively small group of wealthy, aging preppies have sabotaged the nation’s financial industries through greed, corruption, incompetence and outright theft, we’re supposed to agree to give up on the American dream these same people sold us in the first place? We’re not the one who burned through trillions of dollars of other people’s money. This happened on their watch. 

The average American has done nothing but work within the framework of a society long in place, doing our level best and being honest and ethical in our dealings. Americans are an overwhelmingly decent, earnest and generous people. Just don’t ask us to stop being who we are because the wealthy buffoons we trusted with our major industries and our government took advantage of our good will. They are the ones who fucked up big time. Which would be the reason why the Republicans just got voted out in a big way and we finally installed a smart and honest guy to run the show.

Good will only goes so far and when you start preaching about pulling the rug out from under us, and worse, our children. Now you’re just pissing everybody off. And if some of these thieves who have visited such economic chaos on the rest of us aren’t prosecuted and jailed then this new government will likely get fired in four years. We trusted these people with America and they somehow screwed that up, no easy feat. If you set out to do that you’d be hard pressed on how to go about killing the goose that laid the golden egg, but somehow these people were greedy enough to pull it off. 

They were so greedy they screwed up a good thing for their own children too, those sons and daughters of privilege that have always stepped out of Ivy League schools into the halls of power, responsibility and great wealth and nobody ever thought to begrudge them that until they eliminated the responsibility part and just started stealing hand over fist and damn the torpedos. And now they want to blame us, whose labor made their existence possible. Nice try, suitboys. If anybody’s party is over, it’s yours. Do try to scrape by with your still mostly intact fabulous wealth instead of all the money and keep your hands off our skinny wallets. Don’t make us come down there to corporate headquarters!

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